Dr. Brian Sevier
Associate Professor of Social Studies Education
The Kindness of Children
by Vivian Paley
As she does in all of her books, Ms. Paley uses classrooms and classroom stories to explore what we can learn or re-learn from children. Inverting the teacher-student paradigm, The Kindness of Children examines how children and their interactions in community with one another can help us examine how we enact and live lives of ethical and moral responsibility. What's most remarkable about Paley is that she never flinches from or tries to rationalize away her own shortcomings. She uses what students teach her to examine and hold herself accountable as a teacher and human being. This short but extraordinary book reminds me that truly great teaching requires humility and a willingness to learn from students.